High and Sexed Up: You Go Nurse Jackie
July 17, 2009
I admire but have no comprehension as to why anyone would want to be a nurse. I mean, as much as the next guy, I enjoy bandaging up a person who might otherwise bleed to death but a lives-in-your-hands day job?not so much. As caring as one may be, you?d eventually have to tone down the emotional or reality would overwhelm - leading to many-a-jaded RN. Not to mention the ridiculous work schedules most hospital staff endure, such that would bring a sense of delirium upon any normal human being. That?s why, despite protests and the New York State Nurse?s Association decreeing Nurse Jackie?s unethical behavior, there?s an unspoken comprehension that she?d be nuts not to pop a snagable pill every once in a while. Promoting the idea that doctors and nurses don?t ?partake? is as oblivion as ?don?t ask don?t tell? or pushing condom-less abstinence for teens?. I?m left to ponder, if the ER doctors and nurses I?ve personally experienced were wired on some extracurricular drug they might have been more competent or conscious performing their duties on the occasions when I had the great misfortune in trusting their ability. Frankly, I wish a high and sexed-up Nurse Jackie was on-duty so I could have gotten potentially better care. Of course, I?ve never snorted Percocets (tried aspirin as a troubled teen ? ouch). Perhaps Showtime is bringing an important issue into the forefront. That a new clinical trial needs to be done: doctors and nurses snorting Percocets vs. doctors and nurses snorting a placebo ? six months, who kills more people? And indeed that?s how Nurse Jackie debuted, with a patient dying because the cocky, jack-off doctor (doctors = bad, nurses = good) ignored Jackie?s wise concerns. And though the show is dramedy, it?s less funny, more stark and cynical. Created by some of the same folks behind Lisa Kudrow?s critically appreciated The Comeback, it may have a similar flaw, of being perpetually stuck in awkward ? where viewers want to follow but are sometimes too annoyed to. While a show like Curb Your Enthusiasm can thrive in that ?place? because it?s friggin? hilarious and they have more leeway with the dialogue, Nurse Jackie has an uphill fight balancing the somewhat stiff hospital setting with witty, sophisticated humor in thirty minutes or less (the episode "Tiny Bubbles" may be a hint of the show's potential power, but still the dramedy need to coalesce). Though there are an endless loop of hospital/doctor shows, we're currently lacking one that captures that facet: Grey?s Anatomy ? mom drama with gobbledygook dialogue; Scrubs ? silly fun frat humor; Private Practice ? more mom drama; HawthoRN ? yearning to be cancelled?. Yup, not one M*A*S*H in the mix. (I'll add that perhaps House gets close on occasion, but after 100 strange diseases too many I can't seem to sit through it anymore!). With a cast and guest stars built to carry (I mean, Mrs. Soprano Edie Falco, Judith Ivey, Anna Deavere Smith, Blythe Danner, Swoosie Kurtz [even some directing by Paul Feig and Steve Buscemi]), these quality actors crave the material with which to amaze. And with Showtime rockin? female-leads-over-40, a lá Mary Louise-Parker (Weeds), Toni Collette (United States of Tara), you know there?s an audience. Where even if you do not absolutely love the premise, you?re going to watch just to see how the actress takes it on. (Note: Nurse Jackie was the most successful premier in Showtime history). Now we just need consistent worthy substance that taps into Falco?s limitless potential. And the next clinical trial: writers snorting Percocets vs. writers in AA ? six months, who gets more season renewals?